U.S, Canada Officials Warn Public Against Eating Romaine Lettuce

By: Ahmed Yasser

CAIRO, Nov. 21 (SEE) – Health officials in the U.S. and Canada were warned on Tuesday about a fresh outbreak of ”E-coli” linked to romaine lettuce and alerted people not to eat any type of it.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said that it is working with officials in Canada on the outbreak which sickened 32 people in 11 states and 18 people in the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec.”

Consumers who have any type of romaine lettuce in their home should not eat it and should throw it away even if some of it was eaten and no one has gotten sick, U.S. Food Administration reported.

This advice includes all types of romaine lettuce such as whole heads of romaine, hearts of romaine and salad mixes that contain romaine.

Sarah Sorscher, deputy director of regulatory affairs at Center for Science in the Public Interest, reported that tracing the source of contaminated lettuce can be difficult because it’s often repackaged by middlemen. That can mean the entire industry becomes implicated in outbreaks.

Last spring an E- coli outbreak in romaine lettuce killed five people and sickened more than 200 people in 36 states. The outbreak was first reported in March and the CDC didn’t declare the lettuce safe to eat until mid-May. In that outbreak the source was traced to a contaminated irrigation canal Arizona.

The strain identified is different than the one linked to romaine earlier this year but appears similar to last year’s outbreak linked to leafy greens.

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